Date: 2nd August 2018 at 5:30pm
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Earlier today Rangers confirmed that manager Steven Gerrard had now formally promoted youth prospect Glenn Middleton into his first-team group for the 0218/19 campaign.

Having been hugely impressive over pre-season so far and more than taking his opportunities in the Europa League clashes we’ve faced, it’s a richly deserved accolade for the youngster in recognition of his development but obviously nobody should be getting too carried away yet as he has plenty of learning still to do – but he couldn’t have a better gaffer for that in many ways.

Not only does it send the fanbase another great message but having included a number of youngsters across pre-season so far, it does send a fantastic message that Gerrard is more than looking within the camp for something ‘extra’ and if you deserve a shot you’ll get one, and if you take that chance you’ll continue to be involved.

Fans always look to signings as being a statement, but a useful productive Academy setup is a goldmine of its own in football and whilst Gerrard might be new to the dugout – it’s good to see the former Liverpool man isn’t oblivious to that and that he has an eye on the future and not just the now.

Speaking to the Official Site he explained.

“They have done very well. The idea was to have a look at them in Spain and give them some opportunities. I don’t think anyone in the squad or anyone in the reserves will be disappointed as we have given them game time and minutes.”

For the young crop he included, he admitted some had ‘shone’ whilst others had ‘struggled’ but that’s always the case during development and it just means those who struggled aren’t ready yet but will be given another shot down the line.

“I think the one who has shone really, really well is Glenn Middleton. He has shown us he can be an impact player and he has shown he can play from the start now with a good performance against Wigan. So he is no longer an Academy player, he is a first-team squad member now for Rangers and he will start getting changed with the first team and he has earned that. So well done to Glenn. I had a chat with him and said ‘this is the start for you now’ – we need to start working on the whole package and get him to become a consistent winger for this football club for many years.”